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Br J Ophthalmol. 2012 Jun;96(6):783-7. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2011-301378. Epub 2012 Mar 26.

The number of ophthalmologists in practice and training worldwide: a growing gap despite more than 200,000 practitioners.

Author information

1
International Health and Development, Geneva, Switzerland. serge.resnikoff@gmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS:

To assess the current number of ophthalmologists practicing worldwide in 2010 and to create a system for maintaining, collecting and improving the accuracy of data on ophthalmologists per population, ophthalmologists performing surgery, growth rate of the profession, and the number of residents in training.

METHODS:

Between March 2010 and April 2010, the International Council of Ophthalmology emailed a standardised survey of 12 questions to 213 global ophthalmic societies. Missing data and additional information were gathered from direct correspondences with ophthalmologist contacts.

RESULTS:

The total number of ophthalmologists reported was 204,909. Data are presented for 193 countries. Information was obtained from 67 countries on the number of ophthalmologists doing surgery, entering practice, leaving practice, rate of growth and resident training.

CONCLUSION:

The survey results show that despite over 200,000 ophthalmologists worldwide, there is currently a significant shortfall of ophthalmologists in developing countries. Furthermore, although the number of practitioners is increasing in developed countries, the population aged 60+ is growing at twice the rate of the profession. To meet this widening gap between need and supply, it is necessary to aggressively train eye care teams now to alleviate the current and anticipated deficit of ophthalmologists worldwide.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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